Socio-economic risk factors for severe protein energy malnutrition among children in Mulago Hospital, Kampala
East African Medical Journal
Despite Uganda's recent economic success, malnutrition is still an important public health problem and little information is available on socio-economic risk factors for severe protein energy malnutrition. Objective: To determine socio-economic risk factors for severe protein energy malnutrition among children aged 0-60 months. Design: A case control study. Setting: Mulago Referral and Teaching Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Patients: Sixty six severely malnourished children (age 0-60 months) were
... atched, for age and sex, with 66 well nourished controls, and socio-economic, demographic, health facility utilisation and feeding practices were compared between the two groups. Results: Severe protein energy malnutrition was associated with young age of the caretaker (p = 0.005), living in a mud walled house (OR 2.44, CI 1.13 -5.32), lack of breast feeding (OR 3.22, CI 1.31-8.02), failure to complete immunisation (OR 3.68, CI 1.53 -9.011), no land ownership (OR 4.62, CI 2.09 -10.3), and no ownership of livestock (OR 13.65, CI 3.60 -60.84) , by the caretaker. The level of formal education of the caretaker was not associated with severe malnutrition. Conclusion: There seems to be a strong association between severe malnutrition and some indicators of poverty, lack of breastfeeding, and failure to complete immunisation. Programmes aimed at poverty alleviation, promotion of breastfeeding and immunisation, will go a long way in preventing malnutrition.